Beginners Craps: Pass, Don’t Pass Bets
When I started working at the casino, I was trained on all games before settling into full-time blackjack dealing. And let me tell you, whenever the Craps guy couldn’t come in for his shift, I’d get wracked with fear because occasionally I’d have to replace him. Fortunately for me and the Craps players, it didn’t happen too often.
Craps is actually a ton of fun and offers a small house edge, but there is a steeper learning curve than your average casino game. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when someone’s explaining all the bets you can place. That’s why it’s better to learn one bet at a time; after all they’re more complex than Hit and Stand.
Come On Out
The easiest way to think of Craps is as a game of rounds. Each round starts by placing bets and rolling the dice in what’s known as the “come out” roll. There are many different bets you can place, but to keep things simple, we’ll start with the most popular bet: The Pass Line. After putting chips on the Pass Line, the shooter (you’re always the shooter when playing in online casinos, whereas in brick-and-mortar casinos, the players take turns being the shooter) rolls the dice. If a 7 or 11 is rolled, you win. If a 2, 3, or 12 is rolled, you lose. Everything else (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) establishes a point number.
If a point number is rolled, the little black puck on the felt that says “Off”, is flipped to “On” and placed on the corresponding number on the board for reference. You then continuously roll the dice until one of two things happen: You re-roll the point number, or you “seven out” by rolling a 7. If you re-rolled the point number, good job, you win a 1:1 payout. If not, you lose the Pass Line bet, and the round is over. I recommend try placing a Pass Line bet and rolling a come out roll on practice play before proceeding.
Thou Shall Not Pass
Standing in stark contrast of the Pass Line bet is the Don’t Pass bet. Before getting started with the come out roll, you can toss some chips on the Don’t Pass Bar, and hope for the opposite results. Rolling a 2 or 3 results in a win, and a 7 or 11 is a loss. One exception is the 12, which is actually a tie for the Don’t Pass Bar. The remaining numbers (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) establish a point.
Once the puck is flipped to “On” and placed on the point number, start rolling. You’re aiming for a 7 for a 1:1 payout. Re-rolling the point number results in a loss and ends the round.
And there you have it. Now you know about as much as I did when I had to “man” the Craps table. Just kidding, check in next week to learn more about this lively table game.